An answer to online hijacking
A Christian Science perspective.
Having your e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter account hijacked by people you don’t know can be very troubling – to say the least. When something like that happens, we feel out of control, fearful, even angry.
When any situation seems out of our control, there’s always something we can control – our own thinking. And the best way to regain control over our thinking is through prayer.
As a Christian Scientist, I’ve found it helpful to approach prayer not so much as asking God for something as seeking to understand who and what God already is. Prayer is an acknowledgment of God’s goodness, ever-presence, and love, and of each of us as the expression of God’s being. It’s also a deep, quiet sense of listening for God’s direction. That sort of prayer aligns our thinking with God, provides peace, and leads us to solutions.
The first thing people may feel when they find out their online account has been hijacked is fear. But fearful thinking is always something we can control, and as we overcome the fear, the right steps to take in order to restore our account become clearer.
Overcoming fear isn’t just forcing oneself to remain calm – that’s what happens when we’re using willpower. That method won’t offer real lasting dominion over fear. The only real solution is found through prayer. The Bible says, “Perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18, New International Version).
How can love be the antidote for fear? Well, the same chapter also says, “God is love,” and what God loves and cares for is His expression, the man and woman of His creating. When we understand the nature of God’s love, and that we are the object of God’s infinite love, there is no room in that love for fear.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” “Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious – as Life eternally is – can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not” (p. 495).
Even when an account has been hijacked, our relationship to God remains unchanged. We’re still loved by God just as much as before the attack. When we use prayer to dial down fear and tune up our connection with God, we’re able to hear the ideas He sends that direct us to a resolution.
Some years ago, I had an opportunity to prove for myself that prayer could help me find a solution in a fearful situation. While taking an exam for a federal license, I encountered several difficult problems that I didn’t remember seeing in the study materials. I was completely stumped. After months of study and preparation, fear and anger began to take over my thinking.
I put my pencil down and took a moment to pray, reaffirming my connection to God. I became peaceful and clearly felt God’s presence with me right there in the examination room.
Quickly, a way to approach one of the problems came to thought. I took it, and every time I reached another stopping point, I listened to God again, and the next step became apparent. One step at a time, I answered all the difficult exam questions and passed the test.
To me, the key was that God didn’t provide me with the answers, but He directed me to the steps I needed to take to find the answers. So, when faced with any challenge in life, if we quiet our fear and listen to God, He’s always there to show us the way.
Another feeling we might have if we’ve been compromised online is anger and hatred toward the hackers. As with fear, hatred clouds our thinking and prevents us from making progress. Again, the Bible gives us direction. Jesus said, “Love your enemies,... and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). As hard as it is, we need to see the hijackers as spiritual ideas of God, too, and that since God is All, that love is the only power that can influence them. In so doing, we free ourselves to think clearly about our own situation because we are recognizing good – not evil – as in control. This insistence on good’s power and attraction can have a healing effect on those individuals, also.
Clear, scientific prayer that acknowledges the truth of the relationship each of us has to God can free us from any bad circumstance, and free those who have perpetrated the situation, too. Love is always the way, and it never fails us.